July 20, 2018
Fishing Time: 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Weather Conditions: Sunny with Clear Skies
Bait: Strike King Gizzard Shad Pro Model 6XD Crankbait; Gary Yamamoto 5″ Green Pumpkin/Watermelon Senko with 1/0 Gamakatsu Wacky Worm Hook
Rod: Abu Garcia Veritas Winch Crankbait Rod; G-Loomis GX2 Jig and Worm Rod
Reel: Shimano Curado Casting Reel; Quantum Catalyst PT
Line: 12-pound Yo-Zuri Hybrid Fishing Line; 8-pound Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon
Total Bass Caught: 5
Final Weigh in Weight: 4.76 pounds
After going almost a month without fishing, I decided that it was time to get back out onto the water to see what I could catch. We’ve been having record heat in Washington for the past month, so the game plan heading into the day was to fish heavy cover that was shielded from the sun. One of the places that matched this description was the I-90 bridge. The pilings on the far right side of the bridge are located right on top of a rocky drop off, so I started by working the pillars over there with my drop shot. My decision to work the pillars paid off almost immediately, as I was able to land a small 0.5 pound smallmouth on my third cast. Unfortunately, that bass proved to be a fluke, as I went the rest of the bridge without any more bites. After I had enough of fishing the bridge, I moved over to fish a nice shady stretch of docks. I started off by fishing the edge of the docks with my wacky worm, but after that proved unproductive I decided to be more aggressive and start skipping docks with my wacky rig. The very next dock I came to I skipped my worm deep under the dock and let my worm slowly sink. As soon as it hit the bottom, I felt a few light taps. I waited a few seconds and then felt the fish commit. I gave a huge hookset and after a great fight pulling the bass out from under the dock, I was able to get it into the boat. This one weighed in at a solid 1.76 pounds. After that dock, I spotted a nice rocky drop off on my fish finder, so I put down my wacky worm and began running a Gizzard Shad crankbait along the drop off. It took me a few casts, but eventually I was able to get a bass to bite. This one was a lot smaller and ended up being a dink 0.5 pounder. After the rocky drop off, the shade ran out, so I decided to motor around the corner and fish some more shady docks on the other side of the bridge. The docks on the other side of the bridge were a lot weedier, so I went back to skipping my wacky worm under the docks. The first few docks didn’t have any bass under them, but then I came to a house surrounded by tall trees that kept its dock shielded from the sun. I skipped my worm under the right side of the dock and before my worm even hit the bottom I saw my line take off. I set the hook and after a few jumps I was able to get the bass into the boat. This one came in at 0.75 pounds. Since that bass bit so quickly, I figured that there must be other bass under the dock that it was competing with, so before moving on I made a cast to the left hand side of the dock. I let my worm hit the bottom and then gave a few twitches to entice something to bite. Just as I was about to reel my worm up, I felt something hammer my bait. I gave a big hookset and managed to land a solid 1 pound smallmouth. A few docks later I got another big bite, but unfortunately it shook off before I could get it into the boat. Judging from the fight the bass put up, I would estimate it to be a 2-3 pounder that got away. After losing such a good bass, I decided to head in and call it a day.
Observations: The water temperature ranged from 74-76 degrees, which is way up from the last time I fished the lake. As a result, the bass were holding tight to cover and appeared to be hanging out in the shade, where the water was cooler. I caught all of my bass in 10-20 feet of water and didn’t have any success fishing water deeper than that, which tells me that the bass aren’t as deep as I initially thought. Instead, the bass seem to be located near docks that are surrounded with moderate vegetation. The bass are very aggressive right now and seem to have no problem chasing down a moving bait. All of the bass I caught today were on the skinnier side and seemed to be biting out of hunger. It was nice to be back out on the water today and to be able to bring in a few bass. I look forward to finding some bigger ones on my next outing.